Convulse – Evil Prevails

by Cory Van der Pol
September 18, 2013 –

convulse-evil_prevailsAs has been said countless times before, the worst record review is a waffle: “It’s OK for what it is, if you like that.” This corresponds to someone neither moved to ire or adoration by a work; in other words, it barely registered. Convulse is not like that. It is a band to both love and hate, but at the same time.

Evil Prevails should be loved for the rare moments of clarity in which riffs are glued together to reach a conclusion that makes sense out of them, causing a sense of rising above the confusion of life as the various dots connect. Themes add up and then grow, and this is where the band shines. They develop beautiful riffs from less interesting ones, and in those riffs, have a sublime sense of how phrase corresponds to emotion.

On the other hand, the dark side of this release is twofold. First, many of its riffs are simplistic in an American football death metal way, reminiscent of Carbonized or Grave but less enigmatic. Second, when riffs aren’t galloping across your forehead, the band likes to work in random rock, blues and jazz influences that don’t fit with the whole. These are not only incongruous, but relatively undistinguished.

Some might say that this in itself is an unorthodox aesthetic. By making a grab-bag of parts, Convulse is exuding deconstruction or nihilism, in other words. However, more likely, this mirrors a committee. The average is bad, but occasionally someone has a flash of inspiration; in the meantime, dramatic people who are good at what’s normally accepted are busy getting in their moments in the sun, showing off and getting promoted.

As a result, it’s hard to like Evil Prevails; it’s a mess with some nuggets of gold. If you like plodding bands like Gorement, the brutal riffs will not disappoint; if you like incomplete-synthesis bands like Afflicted you’ll enjoy the guitar fireworks. But more likely you will background the music until a nugget appears, have an “Aha!” moment, and then forget it as the churn goes on.

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2 comments

  • fallot

    This very articulately states my own complaints with the band. I would perhaps have done it a little injustice by putting it in the category mentioned in the beginning of this article, but Convulse can manage some moments. These are best expressed, in my opinion, in some of their demo output. The full lengths dont live up to that, and are so full of trudging banality that you zone out and become distracted.

  • EDS

    Seems like most people are in cahoots on Convulse. I’ve actually never run into a band that predominantly everyone feels the exact same way. The debut full length is completely hit or miss and the good songs on that album are truly good, and the not so hot songs are boring and stale. What always got me though was the demo output. Same complaint applies. Half of the songs from the demo era were lively and inviting while the others were stale and lifeless. Reminds me of Funebre’s demo’s and full length quality. Half the music was great listening material and the other half was trite.